Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Jacob: Ik heet Jacob, Im Jacob
Mies: Mies here! Welcome to DutchPod101.com. This is Pronunciation, Lesson 3: The Pronunciation of Consonants in Dutch.
This lesson will give you an insight into how the Dutch language uses single and double consonants and how to pronounce them.
Jacob: Okay, let's start with the single consonants sounds.
Mies: Yes, and in this lesson we mean the way the consonant sounds in the word, not when you would just say it as a single alphabet letter.
Jacob: So we have 20 or 21 consonants. The letter Y can be either a vowel or consonant.
Mies: The good news is that most of the single consonants sound the same as in English.
Jacob: Wonderful, so we can skip them!
Mies: So this leaves us 3 consonants that do sound different, the letters G, J and R
Jacob: Let’s see, we will start with the letter G
Mies. The letter G has a sound you will not easily forget.
Jacob: ggggggg
Mies: Yes it is a sound you will hear a lot in Dutch but never really in English.
Jacob: You do hear it in German in a word like “doch”
Mies: Yes or in Spanish, as in 'I have a friend named Julio.'
Jacob: Well in Scotland they have that monster living in the lake, right?
Mies: Yeah, Loch Ness
Jacob: The sound really comes from the back of your throat.
Mies: This is a voiceless sound, your vocal chords are not supposed to vibrate
Jacob: The Dutch 'G' is a "fricative", meaning that the air is moving past a partly constricted opening in your mouth.
Mies: It all sounds a bit difficult but I think I have another good tip
Jacob: What’s that?
Mies: Gargling!
Jacob: What!?
Mies; Well, to pronounce the 'G' like a native Dutch speaker, you should try make a sound as if you were gargling.
Jacob: It sound kind of gross, but you're right! That is what it sounds like!
Mies: Let's practice a bit. Ok Jacob?
Jacob: Goed!
Mies: (laughs) yes that is a good example. In English, “good” or “OK”
Jacob: Goed
Mies: One more; 'Yellow'
Jacob: Geel, geel
Mies: Yes this sound is not a usual sound in English, so practice it a lot and you will get used to it after a while.
Jacob: Is the next letter gonna be this difficult too?
Mies: No, don’t worry the letter J is not too hard. It sounds a bit like the letter Y in the word 'May'
Jacob: Yay!
Mies: Ok let's see it in a word. 'Yes' in Dutch would be
Jacob: Ja, ja
Mies: Hey, I just realized right now …. Your name.
Jacob: Jacob
Mies; In English it would be Jacob (a pronounced as in ay in “way”), in Dutch Jacob
Jacob: the last letter you mentioned was the letter R
Mies: Yes it sounds a bid different from the English R
Jacob: The Dutch R makes your tongue vibrate.
Mies: Yes, it's pronounced more in the front of the mouth.
Jacob: The Dutch R sounds more like the Spanish R
Mies: Have you been to that promenade in Barcelona?
Jacob: Las Ramblas?
Mies: Yeah, lets practice with the letter R please repeat after Jacob; 'Rotterdam'
Jacob: Rotterdam
Mies: 'Red'
Jacob: Rood
Mies: Next , let’s move to double consonants that have a singe sound; NG, CH, DT, TD and SJ
Jacob: Five combos.
Mies: So let's start with NG. It sounds like the NG in the word English word 'thing'
Jacob: Yes, not like the NG in the English word 'stranger'
Mies: So to take that English word, “thing”, what would it be in Dutch?
Jacob: Ding, ding
Mies: Easy, right? The next one is CH and this one can produce different sounds again.
Jacob: How many sounds?
Mies: 3, the first one is that lovely sound we practiced before - the Dutch G sound
Jacob; gggggg I am gargling!
Mies: Lets see it in a word: the Dutch for 'Light' would be:
Jacob: Licht, licht
Mies: The second way the CH can sound is the S sound
Jacob: Repeat after me, “chef”, “champignon”, “douche”
Mies: Great! Yeah they are all words borrowed from the French language.
Jacob: And the last sound?
Mies: the CH can sound like K, we only see this in names though
Jacob. Like “Christus”, or “Christien”.
Mies: Next is DT.
Jacob: You see this combo in the middle and at the end of a word
Mies: Yes and in both cases it is pronounced as a T. Can you say “it burns"
Jacob: Het brandt
Mies: if you turn them around, TD in the middle of the word will sound like a D, can you say 'overwhelmed?'
Jacob: ontdaan
Mies: This gets us to the last combo, SJ, which sounds like the SH in Ship,
Jacob: “Shhh” or when you want someone to be quiet
Mies: Yeah but we don’t want you guys to be quiet. Please repeat after Jacob. 'Scarf'.
Jacob: Sjaal, sjaal
Mies: Ok this gets us to some consonant combos that create separate sounds, SCH, NK, KN and PS.
Jacob: Ok let's start with SCH.
Mies: Yes we get back to that guttural sound again, the Dutch G sound. The SCH is basically the S sound plus the Dutch G sound
Jacob: Give me an example please
Mies: 'Sheep' in Dutch would be?
Jacob: Schaap, Schaap
Mies: Okay the next one is easy – it sounds like in English, NK like the NK in Link
Jacob: Okay I know one; Ik ben een bink
Mies: Ha ha “ bink” means “hunk”, so you said, “I am a hunk”.
Jacob: Yes, “ik ben een bink”.
Mies: Next is KN, you will hear both sounds separately. Please say 'button' in Dutch
Jacob: Knoop, knoop
Mies: And the last one is PS
Jacob: Also used at the end of the letter.
Mies: Haha! Yes, but we will use it in a word. And pronounce the P and S separately please
Jacob: Okay, I will try...
Mies: Let's see 'psychologist' in Dutch
Jacob: psycholoog
Mies: Great! That's it for this lesson! My mouth hurts from all the pronouncing!
Jacob: Thanks for listening and have a nice day.
Mies: Premium members, use the review track to perfect your pronunciation.
Jacob: Available in the premium section of the website,
Mies: and through iTunes via the premium feed,
Jacob: the learning center
Mies: the Review Track gives you vocabulary and phrases followed by a short pause so you can repeat the words aloud.
Jacob: The best way to get good fast!
Mies: Okay, that's it for this lesson.
Jacob: Dag!
Mies: Bye!